When it’s well looked after, rattan furniture will continue to look good for a long time. Rattan furniture is the most popular choice for conservatories and outdoor use. Cleaning is recommended at the start of each outdoor season, to keep it looking at its best, says Marian Harlow from Garden Village UK.
Natural rattan furniture has a similar appearance to the type of furniture made from bamboo or wicker, which comes from willow or reeds. Natural rattan is obtained from a type of palm tree that grows mainly in African, Australia and Asia.
Synthetic rattan furniture is much more durable than anything made from natural rattan. The synthetic version is used to make furniture that is designed to be fully weatherproof and it will resist the affects of UV rays which come from direct sunlight.
Synthetic rattan is made from a lightweight material called polyethylene. This waterproof material is flexible enough to be woven and can be formed into any shape by being wrapped around a lightweight frame, usually made from aluminium.
Polyethylene can be colour-dyed before being used to make rattan furniture or it can be spray-painted after the furniture has been constructed.
Annual cleaning of rattan furniture keeps it looking good when placed outdoors or used in a conservatory. Leaves, soil and other types of debris that can settle on outdoor furniture should be removed by brushing. The best way is by using a hand brush with soft bristles, although it’s also possible to use a clean broom.
Washing rattan furniture outside can be done with a garden hose. After spraying it with cold water you will need to use some mild soap and a wet sponge to remove any remaining dirt or stubborn stains. After washing rattan furniture, it can safely be left to dry outdoors.
It is recommended that shower-proof cushions on rattan furniture be removed at night and kept indoors. Although they are designed to withstand an occasional shower, if they are left outdoors night and day throughout the summer, even shower-proof cushions can become damp and mildew might begin to appear.
Removable cushion covers on rattan furniture should be washed on a cool cycle after being removed from cushions and zipped closed. The covers should be left to dry naturally and not be tumble-dried.
Rattan furniture can last for years. It does not require a lot of care and attention to maintain its good looks. An annual wash and good care of the cushions is all that is needed to keep rattan furniture looking great in a garden or conservatory.